Saul was zealous for God and considered persecuting followers of Yeshua God’s work. Yeshua met him on his journey and said, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9: 4). Paul might have answered, “As a service to God, I’m persecuting the followers of Yeshua, whom I consider to be in opposition to the law of Moses by their allegiance to a false Messiah.” Yeshua’s question to Saul might have included why he had appointed himself to be the enforcer of the law, when there is no such provision in the law. Instead the weight of the voice of the resurrected glorified Son of God prompted a more important consideration by Saul, to which he replied, “Who are you, Lord?” Saul was not a Believer, did not have the gift of the Holy Spirit, and knew God mostly as the law giver who demanded obedience as a pathway to salvation. Saul had stood by as Stephen, Yeshua’s disciple, was stoned to death for his faith and had concurred with this judgment against Yeshua’s followers. (Acts 8: 1).
Yeshua answered Saul’s question. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” This is the word of salvation. When Messiah reveals Himself and opens the reprobate’s eyes to the truth, it is life changing communication, no words have greater significance, nor power. Every believer has experienced a similar encounter, though perhaps less dramatic and under different circumstances, yet the Spiritual impact is just as effective. The impartation of faith is not a simple reasoned choice to be a Christian, it includes Spiritual birth. Some may object to my characterization of God’s work within the soul of man and reference the acts of evangelism, teaching, and preaching. It is true that here, just as Yeshua’s encounter with the Samaria woman at the well, His declared revelation was personal to Saul. However, the Holy Spirit causes words of life the emanate from many sources. Peter’s declaration to the crowd on Pentecost caused three thousand to be “cut to the heart.” (Acts 2: 37). The words, circumstances, participants, and time frame may vary, but the effect by the Spirit of God upon the soul, (heart or innermost being), has supernatural spiritual effect and the Believer is born again through a Spiritual birth. Once enlightened we read, study, pray, meditate and memorize scripture which involves the mind and will, as we grow in Spirit and understanding. Saul, who was renamed Paul, became a different person after his encounter with Yeshua, and this happens to every Believer. Do you remember your encounter(s) with Yeshua? Can you say with me, “He found me and gave me life in the Holy Spirit – He saved me.”